This book explores the influence of Foucault’s later writings on basic theoretical and research concerns in the social sciences. The introduction contextualizes the development of Foucault’s writings within a biographical frame and leads into Foucault’s Collège de France lecture, ‘Kant on Enlightenment and revolution’ which (along with Colin Gordon’s commentary) raises the issue crucial to Foucault’s latter project: the relationship between reason and liberty. The answer suggested—involving a reformulation of the relationship between the subject and power—connects with the issues raised in subsequent chapters, including Pasquino’s focus on the relationship between the governmentality of the modern state and the self-governing individual and Meuret’s analysis of the link between Adam Smith’s novel conception of political economy and the emergent political structures of modern capitalist states. The following four chapters all extend Foucault’s insights into new domains of social analysis: namely, the role of language in constructing and governing the economy (Miller and Rose), the shifting relations between sovereignty and responsibility in the welfare state (Donzelot), the role of the professional expert in constructing new social realities amenable to governance (Johnson), the significance of the technologies of government in the development of a political rationality of the humanities (Hunter). In the final chapter Bevis, Cohen and Kendall subject Foucault’s last major enterprise, the history of sexuality, to a critique, the criteria of which are derived from Foucault’s own methodological measures of adequacy—that it be a history of the present which enables us to think in novel ways and facilitates action.
Contents: Introduction: the project of Michel Foucault by Mike Gane and Terry Johnson 1 Kant on Enlightenment and revolution by Michel Foucault 2 Question, ethos, event: Foucault on Kant and Enlightenment by Colin Gordon 3 Michel Foucault (1926–84): The Will to Knowledge by Pasquale Pasquino 4 A political genealogy of political economy by Denis Meuret 5 Governing economic life by Peter Miller and Nikolas Rose 6 The promotion of the social by Jacques Donzelot 7 Expertise and the state by Terry Johnson 8 Personality as a vocation: the political rationality of the humanities by Ian Hunter 9 Archaeologizing genealogy: Michel Foucault and the economy of austerity by Phil Bevis, Michèle Cohen and Gavin Kendall